Scientists at Utrecht University have found how some plants can shortly detect that they’re underwater when flooded, and initiate processes that prevent them from drowning. Floods trigger widespread yield losses yearly due to the excessive flood sensitivity of most main crops. In an examine printed in Nature Communications, the researchers reveal how vegetation use the gaseous hormone ethylene as a sign to set off underwater survival reactions.
The identification of this signaling mechanism and the genes concerned can doubtlessly pave the way in which towards stress-resilient, flood-proof crops that may maintain yields even below demanding conditions.
Global warming results in the elevated incidence of not naturally drought and heatwaves, but also increased rainfall and better flood danger. This can be a significant downside for crops. Similar to people, plants need oxygen to outlive, and the lack of it underwater causes them to suffocate. The devastating agricultural impact of floods is due to this fact only as immense as different extreme weather events corresponding to drought. As an example, flooding of a potato field can cause complete yield loss inside just 24 hours.
It’s therefore entirely essential for now plant resilience mechanisms with a view to progress towards flood-resistant crops. This will make a different place in this world with regards to food security and mitigating significant economic losses.
The discovery of this tolerance mechanism holds great potential for the future development of flood-tolerant crops.